Plastic Objects Floating In The Ocean Is Of Benefit To Insects
We have all heard sad stories about marine animals dying as a result of coming into contact with plastic objects in the ocean. Plastic objects can be dangerous to marine life for many reasons. The most common problem involves fish and birds becoming trapped in plastic materials. If one particular region of the ocean becomes concentrated with enough plastic material, the consequences could be detrimental to nearby ecosystems. For example, large amounts of plastic debris have been gathering in the north Pacific Ocean for several decades now, and many environmentalists are concerned for that area’s animal life. In addition to all that, seeing large amounts of plastic floating in the ocean is a real eyesore. However, some animals may benefit from these floating pieces of plastic. Insects have been known to use the ocean’s floating plastic debris as vessels for their egg sacs.
According to a study posted in the science journal, Biology Letters, insects that operate around the sea are using tiny plastic materials in order to lay their eggs. For example, the family of insects known as Halobates sericeus normally lay their eggs on pieces of driftwood floating throughout the sea. However, sometimes these insects are unable to locate pieces of driftwood, so naturally the increasing amount of plastic materials floating around in the ocean makes perfect substitutes for driftwood.
As time goes on more and more insects are resorting to plastic materials in order to lay eggs. This is due to the rapidly increasing amount of plastic materials floating in the sea. During the past four decades the amount of plastic that has gathered in the northern Pacific region has increased by one hundred times. Further research is needed before experts can fully understand the impact that this floating debris has on marine ecosystems.
Have you ever encountered a group of insects circling pieces of plastic debris floating in the ocean? Do you believe that the negative consequences that result from discarded plastic in the ocean outweigh the benefits that this plastic offers insect life?